Who Benefits From Blogging?

Most of my blog posts are expressions of my opinion about something. Not this one. Instead, I’d like to get your opinions (well, it’s not that I don’t want your opinions on other posts, that’s not what I meant).

After seeing the list of credit union employees who blog on the Currency Marketing site, I got to wondering: Does the credit union itself generate any good will from its members and prospects as a result of the employee’s blog?

Closer to home (well, this is my blog), I can’t help but wonder if my employer benefits in any way as a result of my blog.

I’m hoping that whoever comes across this post won’t mind taking a minute and letting me know (honestly):

  1. Do you know who I work for? (Do you care?)
  2. If you knew of the firm I work for before you read this blog, has your opinion of the firm changed as a result?
  3. In your opinion, does this blog contribute to my employer’s brand, even though I make no explicit mention of the firm in the blog’s title or header?

Thanks in advance for answering, and please: Be brutally honest.

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29 thoughts on “Who Benefits From Blogging?

  1. 1. Yes, I do know who you work for, only because you work for them.
    2. I was not aware of them before, and only learned of them when you joined.
    3. Hmmm. The fact that you joined this firm adds credibility to Aite. I met you through your blog and feel that I have a good understanding of your experience and understanding of financial services marketing based on what you write. The fact that you joined this firm makes me have a higher respect for the company. They must be smart to want to hire smart people.

    Since you asked 🙂

  2. 1. Yes
    2. Had never heard of them until you started working for them.
    3. I guess you increase their brand. Knowing you from your blog is the only reason I shared a contact in our Marketing department.

  3. 1. You work for Aite…a firm that I would have never heard of had it not been for your blog. Because of your association with them (and vice versa), I consider them to be an extremely reputable organization. Why? Because good companies hire intelligent, hard-working, insightful employees – and you are as good as it gets.

    2. Never heard of Aite before this blog. When I started reading this blog you didn’t work for Aite.

    3. Let’s see. My only contact from any employee of Aite has been with you. So, this blog is by default the brand image I have of Aite. That’s good news for Aite, since all I have read on this site are well-researched, intelligent, insightful posts. This is a powerfully positive reflection of the blog’s writer, for sure. And for your employer as well. If Aite’s research studies are anything less than stellar, I would be shocked. I would also know that you had nothing to do with it.

  4. 1. Yes. Aite. I also knew who you worked for before as I have read and respect your work for that org.
    2. Had “heard” of Aite due to search results on a specific research topic. But, didn’t have a clue how to pronounce it 😉
    3. You bet! Your high quality strategic insight absolutely transfers to my perception of your employer.

  5. 1. Yes. To be honest, I didn’t much care when you worked for Epsilon. I do care that you work for Aite because it’s more relevant to me.

    2. I only know them because of you, but any company that’s smart enough to hire you earns my respect.

    3. 100% yes. I have started doing business with a couple of companies whose employees blog. I have a relationship with them. Same with you, except you’re too expensive…

  6. 1. I do know who you work for since July; missed the shift when it happened. I do care inasmuch as it says something about who you are, the work you do, and the credibility of your work. Agree with William re Epsilon – I had no context for them. But you were still Ron.

    2. I knew of them, and recall a couple of their reports. My opinion of them is raised because you are there.

    3. Does it contribute to their brand? Not really. If you discussed them/ mentioned them periodically [and objectively] then it might. But its a thin line, and any loss of objectivity will result in ‘unsubscribe’.

    I am a blogging purist. Blogs are personal, with opinions. Those are the ones of value. Blogs that are about companies are less blogs, and more information disseminators, and each person can only absorb or need so many of them. Blogs from a company still need the personality and opinion of the writer.

    To the extent that I know you, you are first Ron, and second Ron that works at Aite. Same as if we lived in the same town and had coffee every morning. Having said that I am more interested in Aite now that I know you are there.

    Me … I blog because I learn by blogging. I tend to blog about things I am thinking about, and through my own writing, comments from others, and commenting on other blogs I feel I am a better contributor to my work. My work is easier for me because I blog.

    Hope that helps.

  7. 1 – didn’t know. I’m happy to know. Would not have investigated to know that.
    2 – didn’t know them, but as William said, this is giving a positive halo effect on the company
    3 – since it is not stated by you, or by them I suppose, that you are working for Aite, I haven’t been experiencing an extension from your micro-brand to their brand

    This all very much related to James’ earlier post http://tinyurl.com/62js4v

    I think that companies will have to learn how to redefine portion of their activities because of this new networked world. They are going to hire more and more “virtual” freelancers on permanent contracts.

    For me, you are the one who should help us understand what is the impact in terms of marketing and how companies should take advantage of this (as Colin pointed out, this is more of their role than bloggers’).

  8. As an afterthought, I think that I should not have used the word “micro-brand”, which may sound negative – but is not in my mind.

    James, in the post I was actually thinking of http://tinyurl.com/4kqlm4 – used the much more adequate “personal brand” qualification.

    All this shows that we definitely need your help in putting all the right concepts and words into an articulated framework.

  9. 1. Yes.

    2. Yes, but only by name and a superficial knowledge, not by personal experience – so it hasn’t changed my opinion, it has formed my opinion, in a positive way.

    3. Yes, if you start to track interesting and relevant blogs, obviously you are also interested to know where those people work (or how they earn a living).

    Expanding on #2 a corporate web site tells me what your employer does; a blog – even when loosely coupled like this one – tells me how people inside that business think, what interests them and what they *really* know about.

  10. 1. Yes

    2. Had never heard of Aite before you started working there.

    3. Absolutely, the insight you express on this blog has a huge positive effect on my view of your employer. It certainly builds trust in your, and by affiliation, their ability to do excellent research and analysis.

  11. 1. Yes, but I really only knew you worked at Aite not from your blog, but when we met in Boston.

    2. & 3. It improves my opinion of them because they obviously hire good people. If I’m looking at two firms for business and I know someone that works at one (and have a good impression of them), I’m going with that one.

  12. 1. I had only heard of Aite once before.

    2. I thought Aite a small newcomer before hiring Ron. When they hired Ron, I thought two things. First, that they must be a serious player if they need a smart guy like this. Second, that Aite must be a cool place to hire a guy like Ron, because they have to know about his blog and be cool with whatever he’s going to say (which isn’t always easy for an employer to accept).

    3. This blog builds Ron’s brand first and foremost. Just the same, it’s a platform with value to Aite, as I have read reports…
    …that I would have never read otherwise.

  13. 1. Yes
    2. Even without an explicit link to Aite Group in the blog, I feel like I know the company now. It’s as if it was previously just a known name, but now I’ve had dinner with one of their employees. I think a good blog (explicitly linked to employer or not) is akin to a good booth at a trade show: To the segment of people who stop by and talk, your company is now a place where I “know” someone, not just a name I know of.
    3. Yes; the connection inscrutable, but real.

  14. 1. No. And didn’t know until I started reading the comments.
    2. And by learning about your employer from you, it definitely seeds my image.
    3. No question: and Andy puts it perfectly for me.

    But I wonder how this connection we see depends on the employer? Would the reputation of some companies discount their employee’s individual ideas and contributions through their blog?

  15. 1. Yes

    2. I knew of Aite, and have even read some of their reports

    3. In my humble opinion, this site doesn’t contribute to Aite’s brand, but rather Ron Shevlin’s brand. That being said, I am often curious to check out Ron’s Aite research, which brings me to the Aite site, which, although not “building their brand” does bring some value to Aite.

  16. Ron,

    1. Yes, I know for whom you work

    2. Had not heard of Aite previously, but I have since visited the web site multiple times.

    3. Because I know you work for Aite, your presence enhances their reputation in my view. Since I believe strongly that reputation is pretty much equal to brand, then yes, your blog work is nicely buffing and polishing your employer’s brand.

  17. 1. Yes. But I was reading your blog and tweeting with you long before you started working at Aite.
    2. I didn’t know Aite existed until you told me (I was being courted by a competitor of Aite.)
    3. Yes. I agree with the same reasonings stated previously by the other commenters. Plus, I’m willing to see what Aite offers because you are affiliated with them. I value your insights and opinions, so is seems to me a company that hired you would share the same attributes. (That may or may not be true, but it is my perception until proven otherwise.)

  18. 1) I knew it started with an “A”… and I care about 35%

    2) I think knowing a firm starts with the letter “A” disqualifies me from adequately answering this question. However, I definitely knew your blog from your last employer to this employer. My opinion of your last employer changed, because I thought they were foolish to let you go.

    3) Hmmm. Your blog contributes to my opinion of YOU. I respect you and enjoy what you write, even when at times I may not totally agree. I think you are a smart cookie, so the fact that your employer has hired you means my respect spills over to include a firm that would hire a smart cookie like you.

  19. Hi Ron, I was aware that you work for Aite. I think it was Forrester that you moved from back in the spring. I do care because I had heard about the research that Aite did. I particularly remember a conclusion they had that a third (do I have the number right?) of large credit unions would like to convert to banks. I remember being pretty surprised by this.

    I go to your blog for a frank and often humorous discussion of marketplace trends. You are always thoughtful, often provocative and I know that your “takes” will be an honest assessment of financial and marketing trends. Since you work for Aite and you have a unique style, I assume your employer encourages a forthright approach to the reports and studies it performs.

    Looking forward to seeing you at the Partnership Symposium.

  20. Ron,

    1. Do you know who I work for? (Do you care?) Yes, I know who you work for. I only care who you work for (or worked for in the past) due to my knowledge of those firms. If like the the firm I care. If I do not like the firm then I do not care.

    2. If you knew of the firm I work for before you read this blog, has your opinion of the firm changed as a result? I knew of your current employer before you joined. They were kick ass then and they are still kick ass now.

    3. In your opinion, does this blog contribute to my employer’s brand, even though I make no explicit mention of the firm in the blog’s title or header? I never think of Aite when I read your blog except if you mention them. I have always seen your blog and Aite as two separate and independent brands. However, if there is a research paper I am interested in from Aite and you are the author, it has more value to me because of my knowledge of your work from your blog/book and prior work as a researcher.


  21. 1. Yes I know who you work for. I know nothing about the firm so am abivalent as to caring.
    2. No change, didn’t know them before.
    3. You sometimes provide an insight that relates to your work or would seem to relate to your work, but I wouldn’t say it contributes anything to your employer, who I don’t know, for me.

    The question I am pondering is how do your personal views contribute to the entity you work for? I wouldn’t assume that the company is the same as you.

  22. 1. No. I knew you worked for Epsilon when I first started reading your blog, and I knew you had left. But I didn’t know your new company.

    2. In reference to Epsilon, yes. I pass by their office in Coppell/Irving TX office and never paid it any attention until after I’d read your blog.

    3. Again, in reference to Epsilon, yes, your blog attributed to their brand. I took them seriously, looked them up and even considered applying for a job at one point.

    Now, I’ll go check out Aite, even though I never would’ve before.

  23. 1. Yes.
    2. Not really. I respected Aite’s work and still do. I think they made a smart hire, but I already expected that of them.
    3. Yes, this blog contributes to their brand. Your personal brand augments Aite’s, but only to a micro-niche audience that knows them and has a reason to care about who they are and your work there.

  24. 1. Yes.
    2. I knew Aite, and I was already a fan of their work, so this doesn’t really change my impression of them.
    3. Yes, provided you take what you learn from engaging in these conversations and loop it back into whatever value you deliver to Aite.

  25. 1. Yes
    2. I did not know before
    3. Aite’s brand awareness was raised as a result but I don’t feel your blog contributed either way to Aite’s brand. I feel that blogging is a personal expression and being that a blog can only stand on the author’s writing alone. I’m here to read your contrubution to the field of marketing and banking – you just happen to work for Aite. Did they do a good job of hiring you? Sure. But it was as much your choice to work there. As with many other companies, there are bound to be bad empoyees as well.

  26. Ron,
    1. Yes.
    2. I was not aware of your employers before becoming a regular reader of your blog.
    3. Yes, definitely. Any association of a person to a brand increases his personal branding, and vice versa too.

    The truth (or basic assumption) is that association leads to enhanced branding. Therefore people go for celebrity endorsement for effective advertisement.


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